Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Beauty Empties: 2nd Quarter of 2015

I guess when even I start dreading my empties bag, it's a sure sign that I've kept it full for far too long. I've decided to post this empties round-up a bit later than the actual end of the second quarter due to my other stash-reducing projects' updates, so I feel like I've finished some of these products eons ago and no longer remember much about them...
 Let's start with make-up this time - I think it's the most interesting, so if you don't care about my other beauty trash, you can just scan through this part and be done reading (see how I like to make it easy for you? ;).
Products I disliked and wouldn't repurchase: Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Melted Peony (review here; it's not empty, I just hate it and decided to get rid of it), Ulta Make-up Sponge, Dr Brandt Pores No More primer (thick and silicone-laded), Heroine Make Volume and Curl Mascara (review here)
Products I enjoyed, but I'm trying out other things: Graftobian HD Glamour Creme Foundation in Buff and Aurora (here's my review - obviously not completely used up, but old and I don't really enjoy wearing it anymore), Skindinavia Make-up Finishing Spray (it was alright, but I'm not sure I absolutely need a setting spray in my make-up routine), Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Clouds Highlighting Liquid sample (fantastic for fair skin as it's basically a white pearl shade), Make Up Forever Smokey Extravagant Mascara, Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Whiskey, Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge (reviewed here - mine didn't last as long as I expected, and I think I prefer the original Beautyblender).
Products I would repurchase (but am probably trying out other things too):  Laura Geller GlamLASH mascara, OPI Original Nail Envy, INM Out The Door Topcoat
Would you say skincare is the next most interesting category of empties after make-up?
Products I disliked and wouldn't repurchase: The Face Shop Hydra Gel Mask in Vita B (not really a gel sheet mask like the Tatcha, more like a sheet of rubber if that makes sense?), Orientana Moisturizer for Combination Skin (a more natural Polish skincare brand, but this cream was incredibly fragranced and the texture quite greasy on the skin)
Products I enjoyed, but I'm trying out other things: The Saem sheet mask and Freeman Coffee & Chai Eye Mask* (reviewed here), Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum (featured here; worked really well for the first couple of months then no more improvement), Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel (will be featured shortly - stay tuned), Osmia Organics Facial Calibration Serum* (a facial oil, really), Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (weird texture that wouldn't always absorb but decent moisturizer), Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads (featured here, prefer the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads), Avebio Immortelle Flower Water (scent a bit too strong, prefer other hydrosols), Canmake Easy and Fast Make Gel (moisturizer with spf), Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm
Products I would repurchase (but am probably trying out other things too): Nothing, really :(
In terms of fragrance empties, I have a bit of a sad story to share. As you can see, the full size bottle of discontinued Givenchy Fleur d'Interdit is definitely not empty. I was given this fragrance by a family friend when I was maybe 12 or 13, making this fragrance at least 16 years old. Yes, the scent has gone sour - probably a while back, actually. I remember I loved this thing to death when I first got it (my first adult perfume! SO SOPHISTICATED), but my mum told me I was too young to wear it, and that I should save it for later on. Yeah, boy, did I save it for later on - except now it's unusable. The rest are samples, among which I enjoyed Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Teazzura and Tocca Simone the most - both summery fragrances and it's been hot hot hot over here. I also realized I really dislike apple notes in perfume *gives Tocca Giulietta and Marc Jacobs Daisy a stink eye*.
I seem to have been the most prolific (or greedy...?) in the bodycare department.
Products I disliked and wouldn't repurchase: Crystal Body Deodorant Stick (this made me MORE smelly, if that's even possible), Secret Invisible Solid Antiperspirant (I've come to the conclusion that I dislike invisible solids and prefer clear gels - I'm actually using one by Secret right now and it's really good!), Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish (not completely gone, but I realized it contains polluting plastic microbeads)
Products I enjoyed, but I'm trying out other things: L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (I think it's too expensive and not sufficiently moisturizing for my severely dry hands), Ulta Vanilla Sugar Body Wash (used as a bubble bath), Philosophy Fresh Cream Hand Wash (also used as a bubble bath - lovely scent, but $$$), Green Pharmacy Bath Oil in the Clove & Mandarin Orange scent (another Polish brand aspiring to be natural - this was more like a foaming gel oil for the bath, and at about $3.50, I really enjoyed it), Kneipp Lavender Bath Oil*, Rose hand cream from Bulgaria (gift from my mom).
Products I would repurchase (but am probably trying out other things too): The Body Shop Body Butter in the Vanilla Brulee scent (I think these can't be beat for a nourishing body moisturizer, and the price isn't too bad when you catch them on sale), Camille Beckman Lemongrass & Grapefruit Hand Cream* (came in a Glossybox and turned out to be fabulous, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to order from their website just for this hand cream), Aura Cacia Meditating Cedarwood Mineral Bath and Orange & Patchouli Foaming Bath (not the cheapest bath products, but less expensive and more natural than Lush, that's for sure! I have a couple more sachets on hand already).
Do you guys get excited over haircare products? Because I don't really - I'm okay with most shampoos and conditioners, and I guess my only must-have now that I have longer hair is a good spray detangler. Any recommendations?
Products I disliked and wouldn't repurchase: Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo (despite being touted as the best drugstore dry shampoo by many beauty gurus, I found it to be less effective than Batiste and the smell so strong my husband could smell it in another room).
Products I enjoyed, but I'm trying out other things: Nioxin Scalp Treatment (well, Mr was the primary user, but he stopped with one application left in the bottle and I finished it - it was alright?), TIGI Catwalk Sea Salt Spray (worked well but the scent was a bit too strong).
Products I would repurchase (but am probably trying out other things too): Batiste Dry Shampoo in the Tropical scent (already repurchased; I've decided not to experiment with dry shampoos anymore and just stick to Batiste as my favorite), Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream (lovely, but I'd like to try their Full Thickening Cream for my fine hair).
Woohoo, we made it! I mentioned last time that I would also like to discuss my 'Use it Up' goals in these posts, so here goes. As far as my previous goal to use up more foil samples and various minis, I did really well in my Use Up Those Freakin' Samples challenge, and I'm trying to stay on top of things by using up at least five samples a month. I also haven't purchased any beauty product back-ups, and I'm still working on further reducing my stash of skincare, haircare, bodycare, fragrance, you name it. The slowest area to move out of my collection is obviously make-up, and while I did buy some new things to play with, I've also parted with some and started a new Project Pan to use up as many products as I can - I guess that's my focus for the next couple of months.

How are you guys doing on the empties front? I feel that next quarter I may have a lot to share as a lot of things seem to be running out at the same time - I still have replacements at the ready so no need to repurchase, but I'm trying to make room for some Sephora sale shopping in November :)

Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterix (*) are press samples I received from the brand's PR for review consideration. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided as free press samples. Thank you for reading!


  1. Wow, thats a lot!
    It's interesting to read, that you disliked the Too Faced Melted Lipstick. It was a hype, I have not tried them since we don't have Sephora here, but I also hate dry lipsticks. I think it isn't bad that you won't repurchase a lot of products. I mean you have emptied a lot of sachets and there are still some fulsizes to be done right?
    I'm sorry that I cant give you recommendations concearning hair products. I have never owned hair products that made me happy and I've been searching for years!

    1. Thanks Lila! I've read that the darker shades of the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks are a bit better, but on the whole, I don't really like this whole liquid lipstick trend - I just prefer the regular bullets I guess.

      You're right, I should be happy that I don't have a lot of things from this round of empties to add to my shopping list! Like I need more new stuff ;) I think I'm the opposite from you, I'm not terribly fussed about my hair products, but my hair gets so tangly after washing!

  2. Huray!! That's a LOT of empties.. phew! I really like Aura Cacia products in general, I use their EO all the time, room spray and I may try the mineral bath that you tried.

    I don't think I ever smell the Yellow Batiste, is it "offensive"? The ones I tried at local Ulta stinks.. I tried the original, the blue, and the pink. To me, scent is especially important, especially on dry shampoo.

    I haven't try any spray detangler but I really like Bumble and Bumble prep -- somewhat like detangler/heat protector in one. Pricey, may try the travel size first if you are inclined.

    1. I think when I do quarterly versus monthly empties, I really do accumulate A LOT of empty products. I wonder if, before my blogging days, I also finished so many beauty products every three months? I think I'm just using more stuff than a regular person, lol.
      Yes, do try the Aura Cacia mineral baths - they're lovely! I especially like that Cedarwood scent.

      The yellow Batiste basically smells like coconuts; the fragrance is pretty strong right out of the can, but I found it doesn't linger terribly in my hair. It's a nice summer scent!

      Hmm, I think I may have tried the B&B Prep - does it come in an orange spray bottle and smell minty? I think I used it mostly on my scalp, lol; I need something heavier and more siliconey to get through my ends, they're quite dry and very tangly.

    2. I'll see if I can sample the scent of the yellow Batiste, thanks for the heads up!

      B&B Prep is milky white, usually in semi-transparent bottle. It does not smell like anything to me. It has a bit of sillicone, not much. I can think of another type of detangler-heat protector but it is not spray: it is from Percy & Reed Volumising No-Oil Oil, something like that. It is essentially a silicone serum but with alcohol mixed in so it goes on lighter. The alcohol evaporate v. quickly, I didn't find it drying on the ends of my hair. Sadly, this one is not as widely avail in the U.S. (I think I got mine from ASOS).

      B&B also has another bi-phasic surf/spray that I recon the top layer is some type of heat protectant. Maybe worth checking. I think that's all I can think of.. let me know if you find anything that suits you!

  3. LOL Make room for Sephora in November - totally!

    I found the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado really, really weird in terms of consistency! It wouldn't absorb nicely nor does it spread satisfactorily. And I usually like stuff from them.

    I have used the Crystal stick since I was a teen and been getting really good results from it, no smell at all? I get uneasy with the thought of deodorant liquid coming out from a roller-ball dispenser.

    The Camille Beckman hand cream is on my office desk and I really dislike it - it leaves a slippery surface after I wash my hands with soap (and i do that a lot), so things will easily slip out of my hands if I"m washing a mug or something. And the smell - can't get over it lol.

    1. Hahah, Jenni, you get me :) I'm with you on the Kiehl's eye cream; I don't understand how so many people can love this product. I usually spritz my face with a toner before applying moisturizers, but I found that with the Kiehl's Avocado treatment, if there was even a trace of moisture on the skin, I could not get it to spread and absorb at all. So weird!

      The Crystal stick didn't work for me at all, but none of the 'natural' deodorants I've tried so far have worked on me, and I decided to stop trying. You know what, I think I liked that slippy residue from the Camille Beckman hand cream - it really made my hands feel smooth and locked in moisture better. It does smell very strongly of lemongrass!

    2. I got this weird instruction/lecture from a Kiehl's SA on the avocado eye cream while shopping around for eye creams. She said to warm the product between fingers for a bit with a pat-pat motion (that it was okay because fingers don't have pores that absorb product) and then pat them over the eye area, never rubbing or smoothing in strokes. I didn't like her attitude or the high maintenance feature of the product and just walked off, lol.

    3. Yeah, I tried that too but it still didn't absorb well for me. I don't know, so far I haven't tried anything from Kiehl's that absolutely rocked my socks off, so I don't think I'll be venturing into the brand again any time soon. Liz, what's your favorite eye cream, btw? I'm on the lookout.

    4. I don't have a fave yet! I only started wearing them regularly last year although I dabbled irregularly before that. So far I like the hydration and fluid texture of VICHY ProEVEN although it hasn't brightened anything like promised. But the sanitary pump bottle is nice and there's a good amount in it for decent price if you can catch it on sale. Ole Henriksen Fresh Start was decent too but that comes in a jar.

  4. I've been searching for a good highlighter for pale skin and I totally forgot about that Rouge Bunny Rouge one! I'm so pale and all I've ever needed is a straight up, white highlighter. Glad to hear that this might be the one :)

    1. The Sea of Clouds is gorgeous, and you need like the tiniest little bit for a very visible glow - or it could be mixed with foundation for all over radiance. I think Becca makes a similar product in the liquid as well (the shade is called Pearl, I believe), and MAC has its Cream Color Base in Luna. For cheaper (powder) options, the Makeup Revolution highlighter I reviewed recently is also really good!

  5. It's too bad about the perfume. I wish there were easy ways to decant so that the bottles could at least be saved/repurposed. Great clear-out though!

    1. Yeah, the bottle was really pretty. I wonder how people collect vintage perfumes - did I just store mine wrong throughout the years, or did perfume used to be made differently so it could last much longer? Hmmm...

  6. I've heard you have to store perfume in the fridge to make it last longer. But I've never actually tried that. And I agree with you about the Crystal and other natural deodarants, even if I re-applied 2-3x a day I was still a stinkier beast. What a nightmare.

    Great progress though, you are making your way through a lot of products.

  7. I like how you do your empties posts. Having them organized into essentially not good/good but probably not repurchase-worthy/would def repurchase is pretty brilliant! I stopped doing mine quarterly because I felt the posts were getting too out of control long and the feeling of dread you speak of? Oh yes, I relate! I started doing them monthly and magically, I started to enjoy writing them again. I remember having the same experience with the Suave dry shampoo! It was SO strongly scented, I just couldn't even deal with it! I'm sorry about your Givenchy perfume! What a sweet story! That would be hard to let go of, but it's a necessary evil when you have a decluttering personality type. I'm working on #projecteyeshadow right now that Liz started. I've definitely rediscovered some gems in my collection and have a large bin full of shadows that are going to be sent to friends and family and possibly a blog sale. Getting the stash down to a reasonable level is really making me feel free!

    1. Hi Kristen, thank you for the kind words! I think doing monthly empties posts definitely keeps things from piling up, but since I only post every couple of days, I feel like monthly posts would be too frequent overall - it seems they're an either love it or hate it type of content, so I don't want to inundate those who are not interested.

      I've been looking at Liz's eyeshadow and lipstick projects and I think they're a fantastic idea! I don't have anything structured like that going on right now, but I've been trying to rotate through my collection to see if there are any products I could weed out. Just this week, I revisited some nail polishes I hadn't touched in a while, and decided to pass two on to someone more appreciative. Yay for decluttering!

  8. I definitely didn't work through as many products as you did this quarter, I've become a bit lazy with my routine and haven't been moisturising enough (especially considering it is winter here!) I am hoping to use up some more samples soon and work on some more makeup bits, but we'll see how it all goes. I think I might have more success with gifting a stack of my products out rather than using them up.